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How to tape your knee to reduce pain and increase patella support.

27th January 2017

How to tape your knee to reduce pain and increase patella support.

I’ve written in previous articles about how much impact your knee takes in sport, and that impact is particularly heightened when skiing. So if your knee isn’t at its best and suffering from any prior injury, it is important to give it the correct support to avoid further injury.

What are the benefits of taping?

  • Decreases pain during sport or activity
  • Corrects patella alignment
  • Aids healing of certain knee injuries
  • Speeds up recovery for return to sport or activity
  • Reduces the likelihood aggravating an injury
  • Prevents knee injuries (such as a dislocated patella) during high risk sports such as skiing
  • Improved activation of the VMO muscle (inner quadriceps)

How to properly apply tape to your knee

Step 1:

Before applying the tape to your leg, make sure your skin is clean of dirt or moisturising cream as that may affect the ability of the tape to stick to the skin.

When using Kinesiology tape always round the ends. The easiest way to do this is once you have the desired length of tape cut, fold it in half and then use scissors to round the ends. This will limit the chance of the corners catching on clothing and loosening the tape during activity.

Step 2:

Sit on a bench or chair so that the leg can naturally sit at 90 degrees. Hold the end of a long length of tape above the knee cap. Stretch the length around an under the knee cap, cut the tape to this length. You will need two pieces the same length.

Take your measured and cut piece of tape, and tear the backing paper by 2 inches down by the logo end. This will allow you to create a pivot point when applying this piece.

Step 3:

Taking the other end, still with paper backing, place the tape above the kneecap. Track the tape down past the outside of the kneecap and wrap it around and underneath the knee.

Apply pressure to the open adhesive end of the tape and let go of the other end. Start to remove the backing paper with one hand and stretching the tape a little, while smoothing the tape down onto your skin with the other hand.

The tape needs to trace the outside of the kneecap, so as it turns down below the kneecap stretch the tape further still as you apply it. Release the stretch for the last 2 inches and let the tape naturally stick to the skin.

Step 4:

Take a second long piece of tape and tear 2 inches of the backing paper again by the logo end to create a pivot. Line this strip of tape with the previous piece but on the opposite side of the knee, supporting the inside of the thigh and overlapping the first piece at each end.

Use the same process as before, removing the backing as you apply the tape down towards the inside of the knee cap stretching as you go a little more below the knee and then allow the tape to rest without stretch for the last 2 inches.

This piece of tape should mirror the previous and crossed over the previous 3 pieces of tape with the end now finishing below the knee cap and on the outside of the shin.

Step 5:

Measure a third piece of tape from one side of the knee to the other, curving under the knee cap and cut to this length. Round the ends of the tape, bend in half and rip the backing tape in the centre.

Holding only the paper with your fingers, place your thumbs onto the back of the tape on the non-adhesive side. Stretch the tape at the same time as pulling back the paper backing from the middle to the corresponding ends of the tape.

Before you fully remove the backing paper, and while maintaining the stretch on the tape, place the middle of the adhesive side of the tape onto the skin below the knee cap and horizontally apply.

Using the last part of the paper backing, guide the curved ends of the tape onto the skin, without stretch, allowing it to naturally stick to the skin.